From The Sketch Book

August 6, 2013

Print On Demand Sites. Worth it?

Filed under: Uncategorized — scottnelson @ 1:25 pm

Freelance artists always need to be on the look out for ways to promote their brand and for some POD sites (Print on Demand) might be the way to go about it.

The way a POD site works is simple. You upload your art and the site prints and then mails them out to your customer. Simple enough. The problem though is for all their work the POD site takes a substantial portion of the profits.

For many years I’ve considered spending thousands of dollars and printing up a line of my own humorous greeting cards. But I’ve since realized that once my cards are printed I’ll then need to generate sales by placing them in consignment shops or if I’m lucky, getting placing them in a well know store alongside other card lines. This can take countless hours of footwork and truthfully I’m not sure I have it in me. I just want to sit at my drawing table and be funny. 🙂 Thus I haven’t made a total commitment to starting my own line again since my 9th Floor card line was bought out by Dickens in the early 2000’s.

Rather than continue “thinking” about my next move and subsequently doing nothing, I’ve taken one step towards that goal by placing some of my concepts on the Greeting Card Universe web site. The way GCU works is you submit your cards to their review teams and in from two days to three months they will review your creation. Yup– the process can take that long. To date I have had fifteen ideas approved and nine more still in limbo. You can view my store here:

Has it been worth it? Hard to tell. To date I’ve only sold three cards. Truthfully though I haven’t done any real P.R. as I’ve been waiting for a larger inventory to showcase before I send my friends and family to it. If I was ONLY doing this as part of my on line sales effort I would be bummed by the return to date. Yet partnering this store with my efforts at Society 6, Fine Arts America, Zazzle, Etsy and Turning Art will hopefully be a collective effort that pays out in the long term.

If you’re interested in starting your own card line… give GCU a try. It won’t make you rich but it will teach you how the POD world works. Sexy and I know it


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